F-1 and J-1 students are eligible to work on-campus while attending classes. The work does not need to be related to your field of study. You must maintain legal F-1 or J-1 status while engaging in on-campus employment. J-1 students sponsored by the University of Michigan should complete the On-Campus Employment Authorization form to obtain written approval from International Center.
- Earn extra $$
- Work experience looks good on resume
- Meet new people and make friends
- Develop communication skills and various other skills
- Learn to manage your time and juggle many projects at once
- Recommendation letters and personal references for future employment or education
Definition of On-Campus Employment
- On-campus employment includes work done as a teaching or research assistant as well as jobs in the university library, dormitory dining facilities, laboratories, and administrative offices.
- On-campus also includes employment with on-location commercial firms which provide services for students on campus, such as stores or restaurants located in a University owned building (Michigan Union, Michigan League, Pierpont Commons).
- You must be enrolled full time during fall and winter semesters
- You may work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session
- You may work full-time on-campus during official university holidays
- You may not engage in on-campus employment after the program end date listed on your I-20
You are not eligible for the U-M work-study program. The work-study program provides jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay for education expenses. Under the work-study program, a percentage of a student's earnings is paid through federal or state funds, and the remainder is paid by the student's employer.
Note: J-1 students sponsored by the University of Michigan should complete the On-Campus Employment Authorization form to obtain written approval from International Center.
What to Consider
- Preferably, the job should be one which looks good on resume and provides learning experiences and valuable skills (communication skills, computer skills, etc.)
- Try to choose a job which might eventually lead to a better job. For example, work as a grader, then go on to become a teaching assistant (TA).
- It is quite possible for an international student to be hired as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) or as a Research Assistant (RA). Both GSIs and RAs generally receive tuition, a stipend and university benefits. You may receive a GSI or RA award either from your department or another department on campus. For most departments, an international student applying for a GSI position must take a test called the International Teaching Assistant English Evaluation, or the ITA Test. If you would like to become a GSI, be sure to ask the department when you should take the ITA test in order to be considered for a teaching assistantship.
Where to Look for On-Campus Jobs
- U-M Student Employment Office
- Residence Hall Housing Office - Student Employment Opportunities
- Michigan League and Michigan Union
- Recreational Sports - Student Employment
- University Library
- Departments (check posting boards and contact academic unit and professors for job possibilities)
- Transportation service - Student Bus Driver (campus buses and shuttles)
- Computing centers (Angell Hall, etc.)
- Lots of other places — keep your eyes and ears open
Applying for On-Campus Jobs
- There is no central hiring office for student jobs. You must visit each individual office and ask for information there.
- Be sure to ask about application deadlines or any required meetings.
Tips for Getting a Job
- Don't be afraid to ask for what you want
- Have confidence
- Approach prospective employers
- Practice answering questions employers might ask
- Good personal hygiene and appropriate dress
When you get an on-campus job, you will be required to pay tax on your earnings. You may qualify for exemptions if your home country has a tax treaty with the United States. Please work with your employer the U-M Payroll Office to ensure you complete the necessary paperwork. For detailed information on U.S. taxes, refer to Taxes and Social Security.
Documentation Needed After Getting a Job
When you get an on-campus job, you will need to complete the following forms:
- U-M Student Temporary Employment Form
- I-9 Form (Employment Eligibility Verification)
- State and federal withholding allowance certificate (W-4) forms
- Direct Deposit Authorization Form if you would like to have your paychecks directly deposited into your bank account